Summer Intern Series: Sagar Shah


Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Education: Duke University (BA in Public Policy Analysis ‘22)

Worked on: Developed strategies for using data to increase membership, open new revenue streams, and enhance NCSEA’s advocacy work in the NC General Assembly

Future plans: Looking for internship opportunities in strategic planning, non-profit management, and advocacy, preferably in the clean energy industry

My time with NCSEA has been a learning and growth opportunity I never would have expected. Being one of my first opportunities to work in an office, I had low-expectations of the space and the work environment. I often joke that I was expecting my summer to look somewhat like working in Excel for 8 hours a day while sitting at a folding table in some windowless room. And while there definitely was a lot of Excel…the mission-driven staff, culture of inclusivity, and support for professional development provided me a high-impact opportunity to become engaged in the clean energy community.

The whole team at NCSEA quickly embraced me into their work and although my job description had me working with the Inform team, I was encouraged to spread my reach, engaging with the organization’s advocacy work and long-term strategic planning. My experience began with combining datasets that involved over 10,000 individual solar PV systems in all 100 counties of North Carolina. But this quickly evolved into investigating how NCSEA could use this type of information to boost their community outreach, enhance their advocacy efforts, and secure additional grants. To provide the organization with a tangible outcome of my work, I ended the summer organizing a half-day retreat that brought together the executive leadership and other key staff in developing a long-term campaign based around the combined database.

As the summer comes to a close, my second-year at Duke University is just on the horizon. I made the switch to studying Public Policy at the end of last year and I am excited to explore the modern energy market through my education. Learning from my experiences here at NCSEA, I find that understanding the complex foundation of regulation, finance, and technology that supports sustainable energy is paramount to moving towards progress. As I head back to school in the next couple weeks, I am excited to dive into energy finance and continue interning with various organizations that work on the forefront of energy policy and renewable energy development.

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